Sex crimes are among the most heinous offenses anyone could ever commit. Utah currently has some of the harshest penalties for sex offenders in the country. There are countless people currently serving prison sentences for sex crimes in Utah. Each is supposed to receive treatment supervised by the Utah Department of Corrections. However, a recent audit indicates a huge portion of sex offenders are staying in prison well beyond their parole date due to a backlog of prisoners awaiting treatment. Even worse, the audit report the level of treatment is often poor and substandard.
The Challenge of Rehabilitating Sex Offenders
There is a stigma that goes with getting convicted with a sex crime. Once a sex offender completes treatment and is paroled, they must also register as a sex offender. It can often prevent them from living in certain neighborhoods or even getting a job. Many are forced to live on the street. Unfortunately, far too many revert to committing the same crime. It is a vicious cycle helped by a flawed system.
Utah’s sex offender treatment program has come under heavy criticism. According to Utah Legislative Auditor General John Schaff, nearly a third of the state’s inmates that are serving time for sex crimes are not receiving treatment on time. Those who are going through therapy must participate in an outdated “one size fits all” treatment program. Due to its inefficiency, most receive inadequate treatment.
Not all sex offenders are the same. Some are considered low risk and can seek treatment outside of prison, depending on the conditions of their parole. Low risk sex offenders are those who were not convicted of violating their victims. They generally consist of those who were charged with possession of child pornography. One solution to reduce the backlog of prisoners awaiting treatment to exempt low risk sex offenders. According to Schaff, 37 percent of sex offenders in Utah’s prisons fall under the low risk category. These prisoners can receive treatment before they are paroled.
The state audit also blames the backlog on mismanagement of the sex offender treatment program caused by a failure of prison staff to comply with regulations. Some of the most common mismanagement practices include failure to maintain proper prisoner performance records, poor allocation of resources and a lack of monitoring a prisoner’s progress. Although there are different levels of sex offenders, prisoners must complete the same 300 hours of treatment.
Protecting the Rights of Those Accused of Sex Crimes in Salt Lake City
Unfortunately, there are prisoners currently serving sentences for sex crimes they did not commit. Others are facing excessive sentences. Whether you have been charged with statutory rape, child pornoraphy or rape, it is important to fight these charges immediately and aggressively. The Salt Lake City sex crime attorneys at White & Matern. PLLC are ready to help. They utilize a comprehensive and aggressive to ensure each client is placed in the best position to succeed. Do not take chances with your legal representation. To learn more, contact their Salt Lake City criminal defense law firm and schedule a free initial consultation.